Some may already be aware of this very sad news, but I just wanted to let others not connected with NHSG know about Linda Watson’s sudden illness which led to her untimely passing away on Friday February 9th. Whether you knew Linda as a colleague or a pupil, I know a great many of you will remember her very fondly owing to her warm, engaging personality, big-heartedness and her infectious, bubbly sense of humour. Linda loved life and will be much missed.
Linda joined Church High’s Administrative Team in 2003 where she worked in the Senior School Office alongside Melanie Cowell and Lesley Ferguson. Although always a busy hive of activity, the main office was a very happy working environment and they worked well together as a tight team supporting the wide-ranging needs of the Headmistress, Governors, staff, parents, pupils and members of the public. You may have encountered Linda’s friendly face and voice on the telephone or when she filled in at the Reception Window, but, for Church High staff, she was always the helpful, smiling presence sitting at the work station in the far corner beside the window. I, for one, will always remember her this way, sitting at her computer with lovely pictures of beloved cats as her personal desktop wallpaper.
When the merger was announced, Linda chose to go forward into Newcastle High School for Girls and was delighted to be placed in the Junior School at Chapman House. This was where she wanted to be and the valuable personal qualities she carried with her meant she made many friends amongst her new colleagues there. I’m sure that Linda’s industrious, have-a-go work ethic was also valued by her new Head. In the letter she sent out to parents, Hilary French, NHSG’s overall Headmistress, certainly captured the very essence of Linda, her words providing a wonderful tribute: ‘I know this will come as a shock to you, as it has to us. It was only last week that Linda was excitedly preparing for her 60th birthday celebrations. …… Every day in the Junior School Linda wrapped the girls in her kindness, making sure they were always cared for – no matter what. Whether it was a bump on the knee or a forgotten swimming kit, she used her special magic to make everything okay. Linda made us all feel special and cared for and her colleagues will remember her for her great sense of fun and her ability to make us smile and feel good about ourselves. Linda was one of the truly kind people of this world and she will be missed enormously by us all’.
For those who would like to attend, a funeral service to celebrate Linda’s life will take place on Friday 2nd March at 2.00 pm at West Road Crematorium, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. An invitation has been extended by the family for friends to meet afterwards at the Blue Flames Conference and Leisure Centre at Whitley Park, Whitley Road, Benton, Newcastle. NE12 9SF. In keeping with Linda’s character and zest for life, the family are also requesting no black, please, and that donations be made to Asthma UK in lieu of flowers.
Linda will be sorely missed by all who knew her at Church High and NHSG. Although a sparkling individual in herself, Linda was very much a team-player and this is how she will be most remembered: a people person with an open heart, ready wit and a truly joyous smile.